After a car accident, apologizing is instinctual, regardless of who was at fault. However, even a simple apology can have a devastating impact on a Georgia auto accident case.
Georgia’s comparative fault law allows the insurance company’s ability to arbitrarily cast blame. With the fate of your settlement on the line, you must never say sorry after a car accident.
When you get out of the vehicle and meet the other driver, be extremely careful in what you say. Don’t apologize for the accident, and don’t say sorry. Keep a level head and first ask if they were injured. If they want to discuss the crash, only describe what happened from a neutral third-person point of view.
Don’t tell the other driver you didn’t see something or didn’t have time to do something. For example, if they failed to stop, tell them that their car crashed into yours, and it’s as simple as that.
It’s important to maintain consistent language to prevent the other driver from using your words against you when they speak to the police or their insurance company.
The worst thing that can happen after saying sorry is that the other driver tells their insurance company what you said. While this would be hearsay in court, most auto injury cases do not go to trial. Instead, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might use an apology against you when negotiating an out-of-court settlement.
At best, saying sorry could result in a significantly reduced payout, with the insurance company arbitrarily decided you were 30% responsible for the accident from a single statement. At worst, an apology combined with forensic evidence could turn an unclear case of liability against you, resulting in no protection from the insurance company.
If you suffered serious injuries in an auto accident or you’re unsure about who is at fault, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney from Wood Craig & Avery to evaluate your claim, please give us a call at (404) 800-1837 or send us an email.